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12th of July, she heard the Rev. John W- S preach, previous to the Lord's supper, on 1 Cor. xi. 35, and it appears, that at this time, the Lord was graciously pleased to reveal himself to her, as he does not unto the world. On her going home, she was observed to retire immediately to her room; and when she came down, she said, “ This has been a blessed day to me. God has pardoned my sins, through the blood of atonement!' "* Nurtured in the same seminaries, how many are instructed in the same principles, and cherish through life the dangerous opinions to which they lead-opinions dangerous to the best, but to the worst and most depraved, pernicious in the extreme! To the authors of such erroneous tenets, this warning denunciation would not improperly be applied“ Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues and say, He saith, Behold I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them : therefore, they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord.”+
* Evangelical Magazine, June, 1809, p. 243. † Jeremiah' xxiii. 31, 32.
THE DOCTRINES FOUNDED BY METHODISTS ON DETACHED OR IMPERFECT TEXTS OF SCRIPTURE CONTRADICTED BY THE CONTEXT.-THE FARNEST, OR WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT, MIŞAPPLIED, TO FAVOUR THEIR NOTIONS OF DIVINE GRACE.-THEIR OPINION OF “ TRUE-HEART RELIGION !” OF SALVATION UPON MERE BELIEF, WITHOUT ANY REGARD TO GOOD WORKS.-SUDDEN TRANSITION FROM A STATE OF SIN TO A STATE OP. GRACE.CONFIDENCE OF METHODISTS THAT THE NEW BIRTH ENSURES SALVA: TION, AND THAT NO FARTHER CARE IS REQUIRED FOR ITS ATTAINMENT.
IF the purport of scripture be compared with the comments of Methodism, it will invariably be found that the sense of the context will overthrow the peculiar doctrines grounded on particular texts, by the theologists of that persuasion; and in no case does the true meaning of any passage of holy writ support the opinions which they have endeavoured to confirm, by citing detached and unconnected phrases of the sacred writers; as one instance in point: there is no passage in scripture more frequently quoted by them than the latter part of verse 7 of the 1st chapter of the 1st Ep. of St. John—“ The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.” But the former part is not less generally omitted ; and the reason is obvious, for a condition is assigned in it. Now, conditions they deny, and therefore do not scruple to give out a garbled text of the apostle as a rule of faith. The context is this : “ If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth; but if we walk in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.” In the 9th and 10th verses of the second chapter, St. John illustrates the import of his expressions, “walking in darkness and walking in the light,” by these fanriliar, but impressive instances: “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.” On this alternative does the efficacy of Christ's blood, as applied to the case of each individual, by the wise and gracious appointment of the all-merciful Redeemer himself, expressly depend. If we perform the condition required on our part, we shall obtain the remission of sins promised on God's part; the blood of Christ will then wash out our sins, we shall then be purified from all iniquity, and lay hold on the hope of eternal life, by living in holiness and godly love.
But notwithstanding the doctrines which Methodism peculiarly inculcates, are so entirely subversive of the terms of the gospel-covenant, that the slightest comparison will shew their repug
ñánce to each other, yet such is the confidence of that sect in their own infallibility, that they will not suffer the sense in which they are pleased to interpret the holy scriptures to be questioned. Not only do they deny that “God willeth all men to be saved;” and that his grace, without which none can be saved, is impartially bestowed on all who will receive it; but they taunt those who believe God's mercy to be over all his works, and class them in the same rank with unbelievers. “ Put the case,” says Dr. Hawker, “ that the reader himself is the very subject of divine grace we have been speaking of, and in relation to the work of the Holy Ghost in the heart, can adopt the motto in the title-page of this little book, and say, The spirit itself beareth witness to my spirit;' let the patrons of modern infidelity advance what they please to deny all revelation, or the advocates of universalism to confound it, this is a testimony which will stand by him against all. He can humbly assume the language of the 'apostle, and from the same unquestionable authority say as he did, I know whom I have believed, for he that wrought us for the self-same thing is God, who hath also given unto ns the earnest of his spirit."**
Under the shelter of the apostle's name, a meaning is given to his words which he never intended to convey. It was not an imaginary feeling, or experience of the spirit, or what is
* Hawker's Spirits' Work on the Heart, p. 41.
now called “ soul-experience,” “ sweet and precious instances,” “ decypherings of the spirit," “ the sweet lessons which he instructeth his people in;" it was not the idea which such phrases are designed to excite, that the great apostle impressed on the Corinthians : much less did he intimate “ that the sweet influences of the spirit would secure the believer from the possibility of apostasy:” and, least of all, did he confine his saving power to a handful of men, who conceive themselves the highly-favoured objects of his grace. No; St. Paul's argument is vitiated with no such absurdities; nor were his views of the divine goodness circumscribed within such narrow limits. The context will best explain the purport of the text.
.“ We that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burthened ; not for that we would be unburthened, but clothed' upon, that mortality might be swallowed up in life. Now he that hath wrought us for the self-same thing," i. e. he that fits and prepares us Christians for this immortal state, “is God, who has also given unto us the earnest of his spirit;"* ;. e. his spirit is an earnest of our immortality, since our conversion to the gospel of Christ, which has revealed that happy state, is effected by the miraculous attestation of the spirit to all its glorious truths, parti-cularly that of the resurrection from the dead: « therefore we are always confident-we labour
* 2 Cor. V.-4, 5, 6, 9, 20.